Sixth Plate



CW-198    Terms of Sale

TOOLS OF THEIR TRADE. For anyone interested in obtaining an early visual example of a mid-19th century surveyor’s transit, this recently re-cleaned and resealed sixth plate daguerreotype offers up that and so much more. These three men most likely worked in rural environs. Certainly their once magnificent occupational was done by a daguerreian who was either a traveling operator or a guy operating in a smaller town. That dark patch in the backdrop upper left appears to have been a stain in the cloth. The main source of light entered the tight quarters from the left. An attempt was made to balance the shadows by placing a reflector on the right. The gent on that side held a tape measure. The chap in the middle displayed a pencil and a logbook where all the measurements would have been recorded. Mostly hidden underneath the brass mat next to the last man, who moved while the lens was uncapped, was a wooden pole with numbers on the surface and a target at the top. Through the years human hands and nature has not been kind to the silver. Yet the sharpness, contrast and superb reflected depth are still quite impressive. This documentary daguerreian portrait retains the original purpose of presenting to any viewer this trio of surveyors. They are kept in a leather case with a broken hinge. The brightest embossed dark blue pad I have ever seen is opposite the threesome.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at